Next generation of the popular Land Rover SUV will lose Freelander name

The all-new Land Rover Freelander replacement will become a member of an extended Discovery family, according to company sources. The new car, based on a stretched Evoque platform, is expected late next year.

The Freelander badge, first seen in 1997, will be dropped. The name was discontinued in the US market in 2006 when the second-generation model was launched. The Freelander and Discovery are known as LR2 and LR4 in the US.

Land Rover’s decision to create a family of Discovery models is based on a number of considerations. Perhaps most importantly, Land Rover suffers from a profusion of confusing brands. Although the company is called Land Rover, Range Rover is also its own well established brand. And the company sells three families of vehicles under the Freelander, Discovery and Defender nameplates, which are arguably distinct sub-brands in their own right.

At Land Rover’s recent 65th anniversary celebrations, global brand director John Edwards made a point of telling journalists that the company was based on “three iconic brands: Range Rover, Discovery and Defender”.

The three nameplates will lead to three distinct vehicle families, as Autocar revealed last year (News, 7 November). The Range Rover family has already been marked out with the eponymous luxury version as a flagship, stretching down to the highly successful Evoque. The new Range Rover Sport is close to being launched and sources expect a fourth Range Rover model in the medium term. It has already been dubbed ‘Evoque XL’ and is designed to fill the gap between the compact Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. 

It is now clear that the Discovery replacement will be used as a flagship to create a new family of rugged models designed for everyday use and aimed at adventurous families and outdoor enthusiasts. Insiders say today’s Discovery — which combines generous seven-seat space with the ability to carry huge loads — has become an icon in its own right, and the customer satisfaction and brand image it delivers is such that it will be the inspiration for Land Rover’s mainstream range.

The new Discovery range will be topped by two flagship models based on the Range Rover’s PLA all-aluminium architecture. They will be joined by two models to replace the Freelander — a seven-seater and a five-seater. 

Propping up the range — if it is given the green light — will be a compact urban model, not much more than four metres long and based on a shortened Evoque platform. 

The new Discovery models will be powered by JLR’s new AJ-200 range of four-cylinder engines, including a supercharged petrol unit.

Plans for a third brand family, which will replace the ancient Defender line-up, have also recently been shaken up

Our Verdict

The Land Rover Freelander is classy and comfortable, but potentially pricey

Join the debate

Comments
31

R32

21 May 2013

Land Rover will choose whatever names allows them to charge as much money as possible on the price list.  The Evoque started out as a Land Rover (the LRX) and was originally mooted to be the Freelander replacement way back in the day.  But the marketing "gurus" obviously decided they could charge more for the same vehicle if it were called "Range Rover" instead.  That's partly why I try my best not to laugh at those smug people driving around in their "Range Rover" Evoques thinking they are actually driving a Range Rover that makes them Lord or Lady of the Manor.  None of them realise they're actually driving what was meant to be a new Land Rover Freelander.  Oh dear!

How much longer before the Land Rover name is dropped altogether and they just call everything they build the Range Rover something-or-other?

What with this naming nonsense and the article yesterday about the Defender replacement, one wonders if the long-term stewardship of Land Rover is in safe hands - short-term profits aside.  They seem to be happy to do what ever it takes to make money with no regard at all for their heritage.

I even remember "The Best 4x4xFar" tagline - but with 2WD vehicles in the range they can't even use that now.  Shame.

Anyway, the name "Land Rover Discovery Extra Small" will allow them to bump the price up over "Land Rover Freelander".

21 May 2013

Should Land Rover apologise for being successful? Business is about making money, you wouldn't say complain about Roll Royce or Lamorghini - they used to make Tractors! But you could level the same critique at Audi and VW. They are out to make big money.

Also long term the premium/ luxury market is the safest place to be.

A34

21 May 2013

R32 wrote:

...I try my best not to laugh at those smug people driving around in their "Range Rover" Evoques thinking they are actually driving a Range Rover ...   None of them realise they're actually driving what was meant to be a new Land Rover ...

Pretty sure the Evoque *is* a Range Rover, and most owners who care know its based on the Freelander. Most owners also like its styling versus the German brands, and the nice interior. I doubt any of them think it gives them any rights to a local Manor... such pretensions seem only to occur to those who can't afford these luxuries or those who deny themselves the good taste of a successful modern UK car.

30 May 2013

A34 wrote:

Pretty sure the Evoque *is* a Range Rover, and most owners who care know its based on the Freelander. Most owners also like its styling versus the German brands, and the nice interior. I doubt any of them think it gives them any rights to a local Manor... such pretensions seem only to occur to those who can't afford these luxuries or those who deny themselves the good taste of a successful modern UK car.

Smile

21 May 2013

What a load of sentimental nonsense!

Land Rover now make a range of desirable cars which are cutting edge, turn a tidy profit and therefore employ thousands of British workers. JLR are in business to make money, and if changing a name can squeeze a few extra quid of a yummy mummy then fair play to them. 

Perhaps they should make a Heritage model, thrown together by a couple of monkeys and guaranteed to over heat at the sight of a slip road!

21 May 2013

R32 wrote "That's partly why I try my best not to laugh at those smug people driving around in their "Range Rover" Evoques thinking they are actually driving a Range Rover that makes them Lord or Lady of the Manor.  None of them realise they're actually driving what was meant to be a new Land Rover Freelander.  Oh dear!"

 

 

Smacks of jealousy to me.  If you can laugh at a person who can afford to spend 30-40K on a new car, then you're either an extremely wealthy individual or a bit of a buffoon.  So what if the Evoque was muted as a replacement for the Freelander in its design infancy, what and why does that matter?

As for you banging on about JLR charging whatever they want for their products, don't the German marques do exactly the same?  30K+ for a MINI Paceman or almost 40K for a Golf convertible

R32

21 May 2013

averageman wrote:

R32 wrote "That's partly why I try my best not to laugh at those smug people driving around in their "Range Rover" Evoques thinking they are actually driving a Range Rover that makes them Lord or Lady of the Manor.  None of them realise they're actually driving what was meant to be a new Land Rover Freelander.  Oh dear!"

 

 

Smacks of jealousy to me.  If you can laugh at a person who can afford to spend 30-40K on a new car, then you're either an extremely wealthy individual or a bit of a buffoon.  So what if the Evoque was muted as a replacement for the Freelander in its design infancy, what and why does that matter?

As for you banging on about JLR charging whatever they want for their products, don't the German marques do exactly the same?  30K+ for a MINI Paceman or almost 40K for a Golf convertible

I have been a member of the Autocar forum for several years and no longer have an R32, in fact it's long gone.  I can't change my user name so I'm stuck with it.  My comments aren't based on jealousy as I don't like any JLR products with the exception of the proper large Range Rover - which I could comfortably afford to buy outright if I really wanted one.  The fact is I could buy any JLR product and pay it in full as I own a successful business and I'm financially prudent.  I own my current car outright and would never go into debt to fund the purchase of one - I don't need credit.  I wonder how many JLR products you see on the road less than 3 years old are actually paid for?  Most will be on credit I'm sure.

Cue yet more comments about the fact I'm lying, I'm jealous and so on.  It would appear the word "forum" is clearly misunderstood by some of the users of this site.

21 May 2013

R32 wrote:

Que yet more comments about the fact I'm lying, I'm jealous and so on.  It would appear the word "forum" is clearly misunderstood by some of the users of this site.

 

Dude this is a forum you can be whoever you want to be, nobody knows you from a bar of soap, yet it's fairly obvious to all you're a twat. So what if back in the mists of time the Evoque was suposed to be a Freelander, it doesn't matter, it's a Range Rover now, which is what counts.

21 May 2013

No offence but if you own a successful business surely you'd understand the importance of profit and pricing power. It's the price/ supply and demand that determines a products financial value, brand value, exclusivity and long term sustainability. You alter the mix according to investment and market activity. You can't blame any company for making hay while the sunshines. We all know China will haze over at some point but intelligent business's will have already taken that in to account and be working on the bigger picture. 

What's wrong with a 100k rangerover when a rolls costs 300k. I'd say LR would still have room to grow and that will be useful as the mainstream makers flood the semi/premium arena. Everyone wants a piece because they know when china starts properly exporting cheap cars to the world there will be some heavy casualties.

21 May 2013

Why don't you have a read of the Driver satisfaction survey published in Autoexpress.

I started driving Land Rovers when I was 12, and after a Series 1, Series 2 and 2x Series 3, now, 53 years later, I have owned or driven most SUVs & real 4x4s.

In the Autoexpress Driver Power Survey, the Freelander is rated in position 73/150 and the Evoque a little up the ladder at position 52/150.  The previous model Range Rover at position 85.

Driver satisfaction is the most important element of all practical SUV type vehicles since they are not usually purchased for their dynamic abilities.

Having been a total aficianado of Land Rover in the late 60s, I now would not include one in my current vehicle selection. 

A friend in Australia was always nervous of taking his Range Rover Sport on any long journey for fear of breakdowns, a symptom that never arose with his Toyota Land Cruiser.

Malo Mori Quam Foedari

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week